Chelsea Clinton has never grown up. She is America’s Peter Pan. She lives in her own version of Neverland.
Chelsea would probably be offended by that comparison—not for the obvious reasons but because Peter Pan is a boy and she believes far too many children’s stories are about boys. After she became a mother, she says she realized “how many kids’ books are centered on male voices — even books about animals are told from the male-animal perspective.”
She tackled this pressing societal problem by authoring children’s books, and no doubt she pocketed a healthy pay check for her efforts.
That quote comes from a lengthy, fawning profile of Chelsea published recently in New York magazine. It inadvertently gives us a glimpse into the bizarre parallel universe that Chelsea inhabits.
Apparently, she is constantly being approached by weeping strangers who are still mourning her mother Hillary’s election loss in 2016. Everyone, except a small basket of deplorables, loves her mother. The election was stolen for Donald Trump by nefarious forces. In fairness to Chelsea, New York magazine’s 8,000-word article of gushing drivel will do nothing to challenge her worldview.
Chelsea is in the news right now because she’s on tour to promote her latest literary offering, “The Book of Gutsy Women.” That sounds like another one of her children’s books, but it’s a collection of essays for adults she co-authored with Hillary on women who have inspired them.
For many Americans of a certain age, Chelsea Clinton will always be the girl who held both her parents’ hands the day after her father publicly admitted he’d cheated on her mother with Monica Lewinsky. Even though she’s about to turn 40, Chelsea also still seems to see herself that way. She’s never attempted to carve out any kind of role for herself other than “daughter of.” And why would she? It’s a lucrative gig. She lives in a $10 million apartment in Manhattan paid for by her parents.
Of Chelsea’s career, New York magazine notes she “has cobbled together an unusual portfolio,” which is an extremely gracious way of saying she has bounced through a large assortment of degrees and jobs. The only constant was her getting funded either directly by her parents or indirectly via their connections.
Chelsea has always been a cog in the Clinton machine. It goes back to those famous images of her during the Lewinsky scandal that helped her dad hang on to his job. Today, by co-authoring “Gutsy Women,” Chelsea is again doing her part to help the family. After her 2016 election loss, Hillary published “What Happened” then went on a speaking tour with Bill. Flyover America is thoroughly fed up with Hillary, but doing a double act with her daughter allows her to present herself in a fresh light.
Plenty of adult children of famous individuals earn their living from their parents’ legacy. There isn’t necessarily anything wrong with that. But what’s absurd is the way New York magazine, and other media outlets where the Clintons still hold sway, try to convince us Chelsea is a star in her own right.
Despite the profile’s best efforts, Chelsea never comes across as being anything other than humourless, boring, and unintelligent. When asked about election night 2016, she goes into a long story about how she was busy pumping breastmilk for her son, Aidan, who was a baby at the time. That’s her insight into this major world and historical event? An anecdote about herself?
One of the few actual insights from the New York profile is on Chelsea’s relationship with her father: “It’s hard to know whether it’s conscious or deeply sublimated, but Chelsea does not talk all that much about her father.”
We may hope this is because Chelsea has grasped how many of Bill Clinton’s erstwhile supporters are rethinking his legacy in the era of MeToo. He has become a historical embarrassment to his party. But the more likely explanation is that she simply isn’t very close to her dad because he was always cheating on the mom she adores.
The only independent-minded thing Chelsea has ever done in her life is give birth to three children. It’s an implied rebuke to her own upbringing as an only child. However, given that she’s a self-described feminist, she’d likely take offense at being defined in terms of her child-bearing.
And what about the next generation of Clintons in Chelsea’s care? They seem to already be following in their mother and grandmother’s footsteps. Bari Lurie, Chelsea’s chief-of-staff (yes, apparently, she has one), reveals Chelsea gives her five-year-old daughter Charlotte lectures about how Donald Trump separates families at the border. “I walk into her apartment at 7:30 in the morning and she is teaching her daughter about how unfair and unjust it is,” Lurie said.
Many parents would argue that young children should be shielded from the world of adult problems. They have their entire lives to worry about human suffering, but they only get a few years where they believe Santa Claus is real. Not so with Chelsea.
Her child-rearing methods are already having an effect. The New York magazine profile describes a scene where little Charlotte designed a game for other children and directed them to how to play. It was “like she can’t wait to be 45 years old and in charge of stuff. She’s not just a chip off the old block — she’s a chip off the old block who herself is a chip off the old block.”
Is little Charlotte being groomed to eventually take on a role in the Clinton machine? Please, no.